EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – TxDoT roadside assistance and a local tire shop say summer is there busiest time of the year – more flat tires and hazardous debris on the roadways.

“You don’t want to be changing a tire in this weather on the side of the road,” said Mike Ramonez, sales associate at Tops Tire, a tire shop in Downtown El Paso.

He said the shop is usually busier when the heat starts to turn up, advising drivers to check their tires for any cracks and proper tire pressure.

Ramonez said tires have a shelf life, so if yours are around seven years old you should carefully inspect them and replace if they are worn out.

If your tires are 10 years or older, he warns to replace them as soon as possible.

When heading out on longer trips, make sure you have a spare tire too.

Texas Department of Transportation’s Highway Emergency Response Operators, so called HEROs, are a free roadside assitance offered within El Paso city limits.

HERO patrols around TxDoT operated highways to look for any hazards, pick up debris and help drivers.

They have been operating since June of 2020.

Martin Morales, HERO technician, said summer is the time of the year they get the most calls for flat tires and usually get them on a daily basis.

He advises if your tire goes flat to pull over on the right side of the road and do not exit your vehicle, especially if you are by the side of a highway.

Instead, he said, to call 790-HERO(4376) for free roadside assistance.

“Getting off the highway is your priority and getting to a safe place is even just as important because if you pull over to an area that is not safe you may cause a secondary accident,” he explained.

In case you are deciding whether to get brand new tires or used ones, Ramirez suggested getting new ones if you plan on taking longer trips.

Also, make sure you have a spare tire always ready to go.